Written by Paul Castle |
May 18, 2018
How do you feel when you have been asked to give a presentation? Does your heart beat faster, a shiver goes down your spine and your thoughts become fragmented?
According to some statistics, many people find the thought of giving a presentation worse than dying. I bet you have heard that before haven't you? But is it true?
Does your heart beat faster, a shiver goes down your spine, you begin to perspire and your thoughts become fragmented?
Do you bury yourself in content, write a long PowerPoint presentation and almost read it on the day? Justifying it to yourself by saying you are just doing your job. Researchers tell us that the majority of presentations made each day might fit into this category. Boring, unimaginative and easily forgotten.
For a rare few, the thought of a presentation gives an opportunity to share a powerful idea with passion and commitment. What can we learn from this rare few? There are three fundamental principles which this last small group share.
Recently, I was coaching Richard for a key presentation. His normal style was big picture, motivating and inspiring. A great style you might say. Well yes and no.
If you always have the same audience, the same approach will lose its impact. In addition, Richards Director wanted him to develop flexibility in his presentation delivery. An interesting situation.
When we meet someone we form a first impression. All later interactions are generally based on this impression. We look for consistency and knowing the real person.
The person we watch giving the presentation should be the same person we chat with after her talk or meet later for a coffee. Let me repeat that. The same person. This is being congruent and authentic. In other words a real person.
So, returning to Richard. The person I met for coffee was very different to the one I saw on stage. We discussed authenticity and congruence. He then asked me: "Paul, you are telling me it is alright to just be me when I present, I don't need to put on an act?"
We then worked together on allowing Richard to just be himself. His presentation was a great success. Afterwards, Richard said to me: "That is the first time I have ever been myself and been able to say what I really wanted to say."
Hmmmm. So much for all those quick fixes, creating extra confidence, charisma and false impressions. Authentic? I'll let you answer that one.
I can hear you asking, but Paul I am so nervous, I hide behind a mask, or if I am really me I might be boring and no one will like me.
Great thoughts, remember that knowing your key idea and being passionate about it will ensure that is never said about you.
1. For the next few days notice how you behave when you are just being yourself. Having a coffee at break time with your colleagues, chatting with your partner, attending a social event or taking part in sports etc. Find out who you are and become relaxed with yourself.
2. Watch some presentations on TED or YouTube. Which styles appeal to you? Are they an extension of who you are?
3. Work with a professional coach. Many top presenters have this in common.
The world has seven billion people. In you, evolution has created a unique, special and individual person. Your goal is to become the best you, that you can become. Don't aspire to copy someone else because she already owns that space.
To find out more and develop your personal presenting style visit me at Paul-Castle.com for a free 30-minute coaching session. Leave your contact email address below.
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